Here’s what you need to know about basic insurance coverage for your business
It is essential for every professional firm located in Sebastopol to carry enough business insurance to protect it from the many issues that can arise that are outside the business’ control. The precise kinds of business insurance that a company should have will depend on the nature of the company’s business and other factors. Failure to have sufficient insurance protection could put a business at risk of facing severe financial payouts, and may even result in the company going out of business. This article looks at some varieties of insurance designed to protect commercial operations.
Many Sorts of Commercial Insurance
Commercial insurance is a general term that refers to insurance policies that are especially tailored to meet the requirements of commercial operations. It should be understood that even a sole trader who trades informally may need some form of commercial insurance to avoid issues with the law, or with dissatisfied customers. For example, a window cleaner who uses a motor vehicle to travel to, from and between jobs might be required to have commercial insurance for that vehicle.
Even though commercial insurance is an important protective measure for all sizes of enterprises, in many ways it is even more critical for smaller businesses with limited resources. The private assets of owners and directors of smaller firms are often less protected than those of big business owners, making it even more important to have the right level of insurance coverage.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Worker’s compensation insurance is a special type of commercial coverage designed to aid both employers and their workers. Many accidents occur in the workplace, and where these result in injury to any employee, the employee can apply for restitution from the employer’s insurance provider.
For staff, it is important to understand that claiming from the compensation insurance provider is not the same as taking a lawsuit against either the employer or the insurance issuer. In fact, the scheme is designed to provide compensation without resorting to the courts, and staff who make claims under the scheme must relinquish their right to sue.
This type of coverage benefits employers by protecting them from costly lawsuits, which often result in very high payouts. It also helps to get the problems resolved much more quickly. The most typical claims under the scheme are for loss of earnings, and the repayment of medical expenses.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance protects companies from a wide range of liabilities. Specifically, it provides coverage to businesses when third parties apply for compensation due to injuries or damages caused by a business, its products, or by the negligence of its employees.
For instance, a general liability insurance policy for a retail outlet will protect the company from claims by customers who were injured while on the premises.
It will furthermore protect the Sebastopol business against claims that a product it sold caused damage to property or injuries to people through an inherent design flaw or a malfunction. The retail outlet may be able to apply for redress from the product manufacturer. Nevertheless, in most jurisdictions, the outlet will be the entity that is sued by the victim, which is why this type of coverage is important.
General liability insurance usually provides coverage for legal expenses incurred in any lawsuit, medical expenses, and substantial damages or injury payouts.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance is frequently a part of, but not the same as, commercial insurance. It is a type of insurance that applies specifically to the actual physical property that a business owns or leases. This includes land, buildings, plant and other items. The most typical claims received under commercial property insurance policies are as a result of fire, theft and natural disasters. In some cases, equipment is covered separately from buildings through a commercial contents insurance policy.
Company owners should be careful to read the policy carefully to ensure there is adequate protection. Every policy will differ in its specifics, but there are some general factors that need to be taken into account. For example, some policies can provide for replacement of damaged or stolen machinery, or other company property. Others will provide financial compensation based on the current value of the property being claimed for.
Many enterprise owners need this coverage to let them carry on trading with the least delay following a loss. Consequently, it is probably best to seek a policy that offers replacement rather than one that offers just the value (depreciation will be taken into account) of property.
Clearly, the cost of a commercial property insurance policy will depend on the level of coverage required, and expensive policies could prove problematicalto finance in some firms. Having said that, if a firm is hit by any disaster that means it is unable to trade until the missing or damaged items have been replaced, it is probably wise to spend the extra money on an insurance policy that will let them get back in business as soon as possible.
Employment Practice Liability Insurance
The coverage provided under employee practice liability insurance (EPLI) protects a business when issues arise that affect the employment process, particular types of work environment issues, and the termination process. Employers require this coverage to protect themselves from claims made by job candidates, existing employees, and past employees.
The types of claims that are most commonly seen are those arising from the following issues:
- sexual discrimination or harassment
- racial or religious discrimination
- wrongful termination of employment
All staff of a company, as well as the directors and other executive officers, are protected under EPLI policies.
Business entities are obliged by law to carry certain types of insurance coverage. For example, it is a legal obligation to carry insurance on commercial vehicles. Other types of insurance coverage are not compulsory, but it is unwise to decide to trade without proper coverage.
Insurance policies can be intricate, and some company owners may be unaware of whether or not they are fully protected for all possible scenarios. If that is the case, they could talk to an independent, experienced and licensed broker. Brokers are offered commission by insurance companies, and they fund that commission out of their profits, so there is no added cost to a firm that uses a broker to arrange business insurance.